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June 17, 2022

To build your business a winning video program, start by rethinking your definition of a good video

This is a guide to customer testimonial videos: how to get more, what to do with bad videos, and what you can do in-store - made easier with Invite Video.

In today’s trust economy, video testimonials are a must for your business. 

Getting the perfect video is the goal: a review from your customer that will solve your marketing problems and highlight what you believe your business does best. 

This level of perfection is hard to achieve, but it’s not impossible, and we’ve boiled the tactics and technology needed to get it done regularly.

This is your guide to customer testimonial videos: how to get more videos, what to do with bad videos, and what you can be doing in-store - all made that much better with Widewail’s Invite Video technology.

How to Get More Videos

Giving a heads-up is key

The strategy for getting better videos and acquiring more videos are intertwined. For both, it’s important to communicate with the customer. Before they complete the transaction which triggers an ask for a video review, let them know what to expect while you’re still together in person. It’s ok to be explicit; tell them: “You’re going to receive a text message asking for a video review.” And explain it’s very easy and if they’re up for it you’d really appreciate them sharing their experience.

Widewail Invite Video Client Nyle Maxwell has an open rate of 57% when sending video review requests manually triggered by a representative at the store, and we can assume in most cases a salesperson is directly working with the customer while sending.

Have an in-store champion

Somebody at your store should be fired-up about video testimonials. They’re excited about getting every customer to share feedback in the form of a video review. This individual is knowledgeable about the service and excited to hype up customers to record themselves. They let the customer know what to expect and give tips for leaving a good quality review. Maybe your Champion even records the customer for them, while they’re still in your store! 

For example, Fausto does this frequently with his customers:

HubSpot Video

Find your optimal review request split

In most cases, businesses requesting video reviews should also be requesting text reviews on platforms like Google and Facebook, especially if you have a physical location. Because of this, you’ll want to find the optimal distribution of video requests to review requests. In this case, “optimal” means you’re creating enough video content to support your marketing objectives while also producing enough review content to compete in local search. 

For a multi-location local business group, we’d recommend 70% Google, 30% video to start, and tweak from there (Invite Video’s technology supports splitting review invites by a percentage). If your business is only interested in video content, then the best practice is to ask every customer. 

Personalize the ask

Requests that are made in the context of the experience are more likely to be engaged with than a request that is overly standardized, anonymous, or unexpected. Via SMS, the personalized request should include the customer’s name, the seller’s name, and the context of their visit.

“Hey, Carla! This is Keaton from Overland Sports. Thanks for buying a pair of running shoes today! Would you please leave us a video review letting us know why you love your new shoes?”

Consider offering an incentive

Incentives Engine, a recently added feature of Invite Video, makes it easy for you to set a prize in exchange for getting more video reviews. You know what you want: video testimonials, and you choose what you’re willing to give in exchange. While in our experience it's not required to offer an incentive for a video, we’d suggest you test a few invite variations, some with an incentive and some not, which can be easily accomplished within the tool.

To wrap up, it’s not very likely that a customer will leave you a video review out of the blue. But: if aware that they’ll be receiving a request for a video review, and they’re informed about the purpose of this video, your customers will be the most likely to leave a review. All these steps contribute to building trust.

New Product  Eager to learn how to make video testimonials work for your business? Learn more about Invite Video

 

What to do when video quality is average at best

The best kind of video reviews include the trifecta: compelling content, good quality audio, and good quality video. You might think the otherwise perfect video is ruined because it was recorded in a noisy store or the recording device is extremely shaky. There are many post-production tricks to overcome these video mishaps, some of which we’ve discussed in the past. But we have some quick tips to make up for sacrificed video or audio quality.

  • If your customer video review is shaky or the lighting is off– feature the audio, rather than the video. Use a tool like Descript to create a video with the transcript onscreen, called an “audiogram” or add rotating images of what the customer is talking about. Get creative to make good use of a customer asset.
  • For videos with really bad audio quality– simply mute the actual audio (no one wants to listen to babies screaming, horns honking, or even crackly sounds) and add captions to the video. In fact, all customer testimonial videos on social should have captions - 85% of videos are watched on social without sound. Readability improves and your prospects get to see the smiling face of the satisfied customer.
  • Repurpose quotes– If you don’t feel the video is usable, consider pulling a quote from the video and using it in text form on your website. Even if the video quality is good, repurposing video as text and vice-versa is a smart move.

Obviously, you don’t want bad-quality videos. But realistically, you want to see your product in action. If you offer athleticwear, for example, you want to see your garb on the field, so it’s ok to have a shakier video if it shows your product in its authentic environment. Your reviewers are real people, not expert cameramen. At the end of the day, that authenticity builds trust.

The best way to get better videos, though, is really to get more videos. The more you collect, the more likely it is that some will include high-quality content. And don’t forget, ultimately the customer’s message and feedback are the most important part.

How to improve the content in your videos

Sometimes the videos you get simply fall flat. Your customers are happy, but what they’re saying isn’t exactly useful for your marketing. While you can’t tell your customers exactly what to say, you can definitely push them in the right direction.

  • Get the timing right for the ask– As a rule of thumb, you should ask the customer for a video testimonial at the time the impression is made. For some types of businesses, this means delaying the request. Pest control clients won’t know whether they’re satisfied until the carpenter ants are controlled–wait a week or two to ask for a review. A haircut clients’ first impression is made while they’re wrapping up their appointment and looking at themself in the mirror–ask for a video review right away. Give some thought to when your customers will be best situated to give the feedback you want, and send your requests accordingly.
  • Ramp up the personalization with unique video testimonial campaigns– Personalizing your request for a review is key, as discussed earlier. But to get even better content in your review, learn to tailor your request to receive the feedback you want to hear and use in your marketing materials. If you’re looking for a video that discusses your competitive pricing, don’t just wait until someone mentions this. In your request for a review, include the question: “How did our pricing compare to others?” Take charge of your marketing by being specific with your language. Widewail’s Campaigns feature makes this easy. You can set up multiple campaigns at once, asking different questions of all of your customers. It’s up to you. Automate the processfor best results. Pairing this with Widewail’s incentives tool, Incentives Engine, makes this process even more effective.
  • Include a sample video on the landing page– Show your customer what you’re looking for, or just say hi and make them feel welcomed. Have a member of your team record a video showing the content and the footage quality you would like. This sample becomes the baseline, and many customers will mimic the length, tone, and style of your sample. 

Level Up: Use Invite Video In-Store

Most of the time, your customers will receive the request for a video after they leave the store and will record themselves at home. An alternative that some of our customers are already taking advantage of is to send the request for a video review while your customers are still in your store, encouraging them to film themselves in the business environment.

The best way to do this is by getting your team on board. Having a team or one enthusiastic individual who is familiar with the concept and the technology of the product makes it easier to use Invite Video in your store. Your team members themselves can initiate the video review process in-store. 

For example, Nyle Maxwell in Texas has been collecting customer video testimonials with the help of a particular salesman. A clear champion of Invite Video, Fausto Rojas, “interviews” his customers about their buying experience on camera. 

HubSpot Video

Leigh Kim’s video testimonial for Nyle Maxwell captures a high five and makes it clear to prospective customers that personability and customer service are this dealership’s forte. Fausto initiated the video and asked her to share her thoughts on the purchasing experience. The format is interview-like, with Fausto as the guide to the customer through the process.

This style of gathering videos is very effective, but it’s not necessarily the be-all-end-all. An interview style can sometimes feel forced and may not deliver exactly the content you were hoping for. 

Another strategy for getting Video testimonials in-store is to have your champion or salesperson film the customer sharing their experience with your business. This way you generally have control over the lighting and steadiness of the video while your customer takes charge of the content. 

How to make sure your videos are useful

Once you have the perfect video, you want to be able to use it. This means making sure the legal side of the process is taken care of. 

  • Get permission, but make it easy. The legal side of gathering videos is important, because you need permission to be able to use the customer’s video for marketing. This step should never be too burdensome that it deters customers from leaving a video. Make the acceptance process a mere one or two steps. Invite Video automatically includes a built-in legal release form for every single video testimonial request you send. That way, you never have to question if you have permission to use a video in your review library or in any of your marketing assets. You get that notification email that the video is good to go - and we keep a copy of the release in Widewail to help you stay organized. 

Weigh the pros and cons of user videos versus a professionally made testimonial. A professional team may deliver a very useful, powerful video, but this one-off video will have a half-life. You need multiple up-to-date video testimonials in order to be compelling to your customers. Plus, you aren’t likely to be able to replicate this kind of video at scale. User videos can be produced inexpensively, but the quality is often sacrificed. When deciding between collecting user-generated videos or professional testimonials, consider your budget, how you want to use your videos, how many videos you want to get, and how much time your team has.

Collecting customer testimonials can be a long process. But Widewail is here to help you make the most out of Invite Video. 

Featured Product  Ready to turn your CRM into a video testimonial generating machine? Learn more about Invite Video

 

Keaton Smith

I’m a writer, philosopher, climber, mountain biker, and a fried-egg enthusiast. Before joining Widewail as a Review Response Specialist, I attended Middlebury College and studied Philosophy and Art History. I grew up in Michigan, but I fell in love with Vermont while in school.

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